Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Messori: Married priests no remedy for “vocations crisis”
Catholic News Agency ^ | Jan 18, 2007 | Vittorio Messori (via CNA)

Posted on 01/20/2007 3:43:16 PM PST by GCC Catholic

Madrid, Jan 18, 2007 / 02:11 pm (CNA).- The renowned Italian journalist Vittorio Messori published an article recently in which he blasted one of the most popular myths of the day: that married priests would solve the “crisis of vocations.”

Reprinted by the Spanish daily “La Razon,” Messori’s article notes, “The Protestant, Orthodox and Jewish communities are all undergoing similar ‘crisis of vocations’, if not greater, than that of the Catholic Church, despite the fact that their pastors, priests and rabbis can marry.”

“Marriage, therefore, would not be the remedy for the shortage of priests,” Messori continued. “Nor would it be the remedy for the sexual disorders in certain religious environments, beginning with pedophilia. Most of all because pedophilia manifests homosexual impulses (boys are more often victims than girls) and having a wife would therefore not be an adequate solution. And moreover, as the statistics confirm, because the vast majority of abuse takes place in the home, between parents and children and uncles and nephews, this would not be remedy for such situations.”

Messori underscores in his article that “sexual continence” is not some imposition by the Church, but rather the result of a free choice that has its origins in the early Church and that has been practiced for centuries both in the West and the East. It is not a dogma, he noted, but rather “an aspect of Tradition that should be treated with the reverence due to that which is considered to be of apostolic times.”

“In the early Church, the vast majority of the clergy was made up of older men who assumed holy orders, left behind their wives, who gave their consent, and entrusted their families to the community. From that moment they were called to live in perfect continence, no longer living at home but rather in church buildings,” Messori asserted, citing a study by Cardinal Alfons Stickler, the former Vatican librarian and archivist.

Cardinal Stickler’s research proved that priestly celibacy was never considered a novelty and that it has always been an indisputable part of early Church tradition, and it demolishes the theory that “clerical celibacy can only be traced back to 1139, to the Second Lateran Council.”

“And what of the Eastern Churches, where only monks and bishops are obliged to embrace celibacy, while priests and deacons can marry, as long as it is the first and only marriage and takes place before ordination?” Messori asked. “All of the documents show that for many centuries, the abstinence practiced in the West was discussed in those communities and the exceptions that are cited today are actually based on fraudulent sources.”

Messori explained that “only in 691, at the Council of Trullano, was the practice of today’s Orthodox established. But there was an explicit capitulation: the Church in the East did not have the hierarchal organization of the West and it lacked means for repressing abuses, which were increasingly more numerous. And not only that: subject to the Byzantine emperor, the Church in the East gave in to politicians who claimed that a clergy ‘with family’ was more easily controlled. The attempt was made to salvage the principle, imposing sexual continence at least during the period in which priests were exercising their ministry and saying Mass, while aspiring to chastity for bishops and monks. No doubt it was a forced situation, not ideal at all, as many complained and as many still complain about in the East. It’s curious that some today consider that to be desirable for the West also.”


TOPICS: Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Orthodox Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholic; celibacy; vocations; vocationscrisis
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-26 last
To: FormerLib

Dear FormerLib,

Then it seems that Orthodox parishes can be very, very small.

If there are 100 MEMBERS (not families) in a parish, and two-thirds of those aren't active (often the regrettable situation in Catholic parishes), that means that there are priests who have a single parish for which to care comprising perhaps 35 active members?

That wouldn't be typical at all in the Catholic Church.

My own parish is far more typical, where there are perhaps 650 or 700 registered families, but where perhaps 200 families are active, with a single, full-time priest dedicated to our parish, assisted by one deacon. Our parish used to be larger, with over 1,000 families, and perhaps 300 or more active families, but then, we had two priests and two full-time deacons.


sitetest


21 posted on 01/21/2007 6:14:38 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: sitetest
Then it seems that Orthodox parishes can be very, very small.

And that we have a lot more priests in comparison and no laity serving the Eucharist.

22 posted on 01/21/2007 6:51:11 AM PST by FormerLib (Sacrificing our land and our blood cannot buy protection from jihad.-Bishop Artemije of Kosovo)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: FormerLib

Dear FormerLib,

"And that we have a lot more priests in comparison and no laity serving the Eucharist."

It would be interesting to know, in the United States, how many folks are counted as Orthodox, how many are active, and how many priests there are.

Also, it would be interesting to know these statistics in the rest of the world at large. I remember looking a couple of years ago about Orthodoxy in the Republic of Georgia. There were around 600 priests, if I recall correctly, for several million nominally-Orthodox persons. But it seems that at least in that country, the ratio of active believers to the entire number of nominal believers is quite low.


sitetest


23 posted on 01/21/2007 9:31:09 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: GCC Catholic
Yes, this is a bit off the topic but it's on purpose. We can talk about what is wrong with the Eastern Church and use it as an example of how the Western church shouldn't be all we would like, but it doesn't matter.

Married priests in my opinion are indeed a remedy for homosexual priest in the West. FAMILY, is the backbone of society and the Church should be encouraging this as it leads by example. Not only that marriage is a sacrament for a reason.

Also, I don't care about what happened centuries ago, I am seeing the world as it is today where homosexuality is far more prevalent and poised to make the church work a little harder in saving souls. So, it seems that most of the assumptions made here are based on the idea that the social climate is the same then and now. The Church must make adjustments that do not favor those who seek to diminish it's purpose.

Look, the fact of the matter is, Christianity is being slowly torn apart by Islamic forces pushing their way West. I can point to many parts of the globe, mainly in the East, where Christian places have become Islamic and all we can talk about is the Western Church vs the Eastern Church. Does it bother the Western Church that thousands of Orthodox churches have been destroyed in the last 10 years? It should!

Additionally, today there is a powerful hedonistic moral relativism sweeping across the globe. It's the worship of self, accomplishments, power, and wealth. This is what has taken the place of spiritual fulfillment, love and Christ. Again, adding to the work that the Church must do.

Marriage is under attack from all sides and I would strongly recommend Christianity to take that into consideration when leading the people to their salvation. A married man is not less pious because he is married. A single priest is no more pious because he is single. Both are however equal in their chances for salvation through Christ. However, the married priest certainly has more experience in raising children and has much more understanding of how to deal with todays challenges in relationship to the teachings of Christ than a single priest.
24 posted on 01/22/2007 6:33:45 AM PST by SQUID
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GCC Catholic; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; ...


25 posted on 01/22/2007 5:07:09 PM PST by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, insects)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GCC Catholic

Bump for later.


26 posted on 01/22/2007 5:23:31 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-26 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson